AS I SEE IT 2/25: The WWE/Glenn Beck situation
AS I SEE IT
Pro Wrestling: Between the Sheets
It’s been said the best defense is a good offense. Nowhere was this proven more true than than in Stamford, CT this past week.
Vince McMahon had a bigtime disaster on his hands. He’d just give a semi-main event match to Jack Swagger as the result of his win at Elimination Chamber. He’s set to face Alberto Del Rio for the WWE “World” Championship at Wrestlemania 29 in New Jersey in April.
Well, just after appearing at last Tuesday’s Smackdown taping in Gulfport, MS, Swagger was arrested for speeding, misdemeanor marijuana possession and DUI. He just worked the WWE Smackdown taping in nearby Biloxi, and was pulled over by the local police. Swagger’s was searched and marijuana was found. Swagger’s car was towed away. He was released from police custody.
All the alleged offenses were misdemeanors. The worst case legal scenario would have Swagger fined $1,925 in fines, and lose his driver’s license for 90 days. He is scheduled to appear in court on March 12. After the arrest WWE issued a statement, saying “Mr. Swagger is responsible for his own personal actions”.
Only 24 hours before, Swagger, now working an anti-immigrant Tea Party type gimmick, did a promo with Dutch Mantell, who was appearing as “Zeb Colter”, whose new gimmick is a angry who is anti-immigration former Vietnam veteran. Many see it as a knock-off of the RJ Brewer character from Lucha Libre USA: Masked Warriors, a character which has gotten mainstream press attention far in excess of what his promotion has done.
In terms of worst case professional scenario…if Swagger were anyone else but someone getting a semi-main event push and a hot character, and if this were any time else than before Wrestlemania, odds are Swagger would have been “future endeavored” faster than you could shake a stick.
Well…now comes the offense. Right-wing commentator Glenn Beck proceeded to hand Swagger and WWE a gift on a silver platter.
Glenn Beck doesn’t like the Swagger/Colter storyline. He hates the promos that have Mantell and Swagger doing borderline racist rants in front of the “Don;t Tread on Me” flag commonly seen at Tea Party rallies. Last Wednesday on his TheBlaze TV show, Beck threw a vintage Beck tantrum. He claimed WWE was taking a shot at Tea Party members. “I can take it from a lot of people. I can’t take it from the stupid wrestling people” Beck further said that that WWE risks alienating its fans because of this character.
Vince McMahon proceeded to go on the offensive, by inviting Beck to come on tonight’s RAW to tell a WWE audience why he referred to them as “stupid wrestling people”. “WWE has extended an invitation to talk show host and political commentator, Glenn Beck to appear live this Monday on Raw, in response to a segment that aired on TheBlaze TV yesterday,” WWE announced. It explained that “WWE is creating a rivalry centered on a topical subject that has varying points of view. This storyline was developed to build the Mexican American character Del Rio into a hero given WWE’s large Latino base, which represents 20 percent of our audience.”
To add to the offensive, McMahon has Mantell and Swagger do a five-minute in and out-of-character promo in pushing the “We the People” anti-immigration gimmick…(at first), then went way out-of-character, bigtime. They ripped Beck a new asshole, basically suggesting Beck’s comment about “stupid wrestling people” may be racist and sexist in and of itself.
Here’s the promo. It’s a shame that this won’t be seen in unedited form, given that Mantell and Swagger blow kayfabe out of the water. But it showed how idiotic Beck’s comments were:
Glenn Beck has since turned down the offer by WWE. So you can bet Vince McMahon will be going after him later tonight on RAW.
Until next time….
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